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Film / The Plastic Age

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The movie that made Clara Bow a star.

Hugh Carver (Donald Keith) is a football star at the fictional Prescott College. However, his athletic performance declines as he becomes distracted by a Love Triangle, in which he competes with Carl Peters (Gilbert Roland) for the affections of Cynthia Day (Bow), a popular girl from the "fast crowd."

If you're wondering about the title, it refers to the age of youth. They mean "plastic" in the old sense of "malleable" or "formative."

This film has the examples of:

  • Bar Brawl: Hugh and Carl get into one at a speakeasy, but it's interrupted by the cops raiding the place.
  • Big Game: The movie climaxes with a football game, announced with an intertitle that reads, "The day of the big game!"
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Cynthia dumps Hugh to stop him from being distracted from school and sports.
  • Dedication: "Dedicated to the Youth of the World ā€“ whether in cloistered college halls, or in the greater University of Life."
  • The Film of the Book: Based on the novel of the same name by Brown University professor Percy Marks.
  • The Flapper: Cynthia, naturally. Also, just about every other female student at Prescott College.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Cynthia. It's sort of what being a flapper amounts to if you really think about it.
  • Hollywood Darkness: As in many other silent films, nighttime scenes were obviously filmed in the day and tinted blue.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: An intertitle informs us that, "There are two kinds of girls at every dance ā€“ those who prefer to dance ā€“ and those who prefer not to."